Visitor spending grows 3.8% YOY to $5.06 billion, increasing total economic impact to $7.7 billion in Palm Beach County
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2019) – Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, announced record-breaking visitation numbers for 2019. DTPB’s year-end hotel performance data shows 8.22 million visitors came to The Palm Beaches from January to December 2019, which increased 2.5% over 2018 and marked eleven years in a row of visitation growth to the destination. Visitor spending also grew 3.8% to $5.06 billion in 2019 compared to 2018. This growth increased the total economic impact of visitors to a record-high $7.7 billion in Palm Beach County, supporting more than 70,000 jobs in Palm Beach County.
Domestic visitation grew 2%, totaling 7.6 million visitors from U.S cities like New York (+1%), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (+5%), Orlando (-5%), Washington, D.C./Baltimore (+3%), Boston (+5%) and Atlanta (+4%). Philadelphia saw the greatest percentage increase of the destinations top ten domestic markets, up 9%..
The growth in visitation is attributed to a strengthened marketing plan deployed in 2019, which included a first-ever in-county staycation summer program, a national co-brand initiative with a prominent retailor, curated offerings with online travel agencies (OTAs) and continued growth in the meetings and conventions market.
New non-stop airlift into Palm Beach International Airport was also cause for increased domestic visitation with its routes to Denver (+13%), Pittsburgh (+5%), Cleveland (+4%), Indianapolis (+12%) and Cincinnati (+5%).
Visitor spending increased amongst travelers from Atlanta (8%), Miami/Fort Lauderdale (+6.8%), Philadelphia (+5.9%), Orlando (+5%), Boston (+3%), New York (+2.9%), UK (+2.8%) and Canada (+1.9%) and Washington, D.C. (+1%). Palm Beach County businesses saw a bump in spending across Lodging ($1.6 billion), Food and Beverage ($1.3 billion), Recreation ($721 million) and Transportation within the Palm Beaches ($410 million). Retail declined from $1 billion to $957 million.
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches,” which spans more than 2,300 square miles and 47 miles of pristine, golden beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $5.06 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $7.7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record-breaking 8.22 million people in 2019. The Palm Beaches are home to more than 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations.
Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are also home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with more than 200 daily direct flights to 27 domestic and international destinations in the United States and Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located next to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports, each one only an hour away. In addition, with the Virgin Trains USA (formerly known as Brightline), transportation into The Palm Beaches from Fort Lauderdale and Miami is even faster and more convenient – with an additional connection to Orlando coming soon.
For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com and connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag #ThePalmBeaches. Tune-in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and experiences.